Interning with the Allegheny County Library Association

During the Spring and Fall 2022 semesters, Bri, a Pitt student looking for an opportunity to intern with a 501(c)3 non-profit organization as part of earning a certificate in Nonprofit Management, worked with Allegheny County Library Association in multiple departments.

Throughout her time with ACLA, Bri was eager to help and approached new projects with a positive attitude.   Under the guidance of Projects and Partnerships Manager Megan Zagorski, Bri streamlined advocacy information, updating the comprehensive directory of Allegheny County elected officials for library access and use.  To assist with adult services programming, Bri diligently identified and compiled a cohesive list of programming opportunities and contacts that is accessible to all libraries.  ACLA works with Allegheny County’s Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to provide Caregiver Backpacks to libraries. These backpacks are a countywide resource that those providing care to the elderly can access for information and support, and Bri worked to refresh and add resources to each of them. Additionally, she digitized past grant documentation for continuity and easier reference.

In collaboration with Youth Services Coordinator Carrie Lane, Bri played a significant role in the building and completion of ACLA’s Baby Bags.  Baby Bags, a program offered at several libraries throughout the county, contain high quality books, manipulatives and informational sheets for caregivers of children under the age of one with the goal of equipping caregivers with tools and tips to aid in the development of early literacy skills, leading to higher levels of academic success.

Additionally, Bri joined the Catalog Search Committee, which was tasked with selecting the new catalog to be rolled out in 2023.  This group gathered information via virtual demonstrations that outlined the features of each catalog and made recommendations of which option would be the best fit for our library patrons.

Bri’s thoughts about her intern experience are as follows:

“The mission of ACLA is to provide and promote the highest quality public library service possible for all residents of Allegheny County through collaboration, cooperation, and coordination. During my time as an intern with ACLA, I assisted on a variety of projects. The most recent project I was involved with related to adult programming. I had the opportunity to research and consolidate a list of existing community partnerships within the library system. This list was created to be a resource to other libraries to provide ideas on adult programming.

Another project that I thoroughly enjoyed was analysis of the current online catalog. I was able to review thousands of survey responses and identify what was needed to be changed for the online catalog to be more accessible. Regardless of the task or project, it was clear to me that ACLA’s core values of sharing resources were centered.

Overall, it was motivating to be involved with an organization that is mission driven and clearly cares about the work they are doing!”

We wish the best to Bri, now a Pitt graduate, in her future endeavors and thank her for her hard work and dedication!